Saturday, January 02, 2010

Konga drops plans to award LITASCO crude oil supply deal

Konga drops plans to award LITASCO crude oil supply deal
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sat 02 Jan. 2010, 04:01 CAT

ENERGY minister Kenneth Konga has dropped plans to award LITASCO a crude oil supply contract in preference to another foreign firm after his earlier scheme with the Russian company was exposed, sources within the Ministry of Energy have revealed. But Konga said he is not involved in the transaction.

And Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) has said all companies that participated in the recently aborted tender process for crude oil supply will have to re-apply under the current bidding process which is expected to close next week on Thursday.

The government last month suspended the process of hiring a foreign company to replace Kuwait oil giant Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) whose two-year contract for the supply and delivery of 1.4 million metric tonnes of commingled petroleum feedstock comes to an end this month.

The government announced the suspension of the deal, saying the move allowed for adjustments to the tender specifications and gave recently appointed permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Teddy Kasonso, time to acquaint himself with the 24-month contract.

It is, however, believed that the cancellation of the earlier tender process followed the exposure by The Post of Konga’s manoeuvres to award the contract to LITASCO.

But in an interview last Tuesday, Konga denied having a hand in the crude oil procurement deal and said only ZPPA had the full control of the processes of public procurement.

“I am sure that you are aware that LPG’s contract to supply crude comes to and end at December 2009. So the government is advertising to request for new suppliers.

Those are the speculations and information somebody was giving you but procurement procedures through the Zambia National Tender Board (now Zambia Public Procurement Authority)…they haven’t even spoken to the prospective bidders, but you somebody told you we have selected LITASCO or some other company even before tender procedures.

So, I don’t know how we can agree because there are procurement procedures that the government has to follow before it attract the bidder,” said Konga. “…I am not responsible for procuring, the tender board is…my ministry just comes up with guidelines and then we submit our request to the tender board.”

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